University & College Conduct Violations in Tampa

Tampa Criminal Defense Lawyer

The Law Office of Timothy Hessinger represents students charged with violating the Student Code of Conduct at all universities and colleges in the Tampa area. If you are accused of violating your school's Code of Conduct you may face immediate suspension from School pending a formal review of the accusation. Additionally, you may also have violated a state statute that could subject you to arrest and prosecution. Our firm can assist you in navigating the university or college disciplinary system and with the defense of state criminal charges.

Violations of the Student Code of Conduct must be taken seriously as they can result in the permanent expulsion of the student and a permanent record of misconduct. A student admitting to a violation of the Student Code of Conduct or being found "responsible" for the charged conduct by an administrator or board may prevent the student from admittance at an alternate college or university. Additionally, statements made to university administrators and hearing boards can be used by law enforcement against the student in a criminal prosecution. Often times there are very difficult decisions to be made regarding whether the student should testify at school conduct hearings.

Fighting Conduct Violation Accusations

Students face an uphill battle at University and college conduct violation hearings. Many of the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution do not apply to such hearings. For example, at the University of South Florida, the student may not be represented by an attorney at the hearing for the purpose of making opening and closing statements, calling witnesses to give testimony or cross examining witnesses. The student may have an "advisor" during the hearing. The "advisor" may only communicate with the student and may not make any statement to the board or the administrator.

However, a Tampa defense attorney may assist the student in preparing for the hearing by reviewing the statements and evidence in the university's file, developing a case strategy, preparing written questions that can be submitted to the board to ask the witnesses, identifying witnesses that may be beneficial to the student and acting as the "advisor" during the hearing. The attorney can assist the student in developing additional questions to be submitted to the board while the hearing is being conducted.

The burden of proof is also reduced in these hearings. This means that the university does not need to prove that the student violated the Code of Conduct beyond a reasonable doubt. All the university needs to prove is that the student violated the Code by a preponderance of the evidence. A preponderance of the evidence means that it is more likely than not that the student violated the Code.

Don't wait to get the powerful help of The Law Office of Timothy Hessinger - call us today at (813) 501-2688 or fill out a free case evaluation form!

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